Calling All Garlic Lovers - The Koonya Garlic Festival 2015
Publishedon 21/01/2015 - 02:27 am
Garlic festivals are prolific in Europe, the UK and America where thousands of garlic lovers and growers gather annually to celebrate the garlic harvest. Recently, Australia seems to be experiencing its own kind of ‘garlic fever’ with the emergence of a proliferation of small non-commercial garlic growers, the launch of Australia’s first book solely dedicated to Australian Garlic written by garlic expert Penny Woodward and with top chefs and ‘foodies’ clamoring for quality products.
2014 also witnessed the birth of Australia’s first garlic festivals, one at Orange in NSW and the second at Koonya on Tasmania’s spectacular Tasman Peninsula. Suddenly out of all of the small miracles in the world that could be celebrated it seems Tasmanians think garlic is one of the most deserving!
Koonya Garlic Festival 2015
Tasmanians’ passion for the miracle clove doesn’t appear to be abating any time soon with Tasmania’s Premier Garlic celebration Koonya Garlic Festival back (by popular demand) for a second deliciously pungent year in 2015 to pay homage to Tasmania’s garlic harvest, and another Tomato and Garlic Festival also planned in the North of the state in 2015 (Tasmanian Garlic and Tomato Festival).
Koonya Garlic Festival was the first festival of its kind in Tasmania (and only the second in Australia) and is a unique, quirky, quality boutique event. The 2015 festival will be held on Saturday 14th February (Valentines Day!) in a historic wooden hall (and grounds) on the spectacular Tasman Peninsula, in the beautiful bucolic idyll of Koonya, on the banks of Cascade Bay that has a long and special history of community celebration!
The 2015 festival will feature a series of informative talks on a range of garlic topics including ABC TV’s gardening gurus Tino Carnevale and Angus Stewart, gardener, columnist and broadcaster Paul Healy (The chook man), Dr Ree Van Galen (on the medicinal properties of garlic) and two of Australia’s leading garlic experts Letetia Ware and Penny Woodward. Penny Woodward is flying over from Victoria especially for the festival and will also be offering signed copies of her recently published book about Australian Garlic.
Garlic and food lovers will be also be roused to make their own ‘garlic-inspired’ creations with a series of cooking demonstrations by My Kitchen Rules Sam Berechree, Arwen Genge from Thermomix and award winning celebrity Chef Paul Foreman and TV and Radio personality and Actor John Xintavalonis (John X) who will thrill ‘garlic lovers’ with two highly entertaining ‘garlic inspired’ presentations of ‘The Chef and the Showman!’ Penny Woodward and Letetia Ware are also judges for the garlic growers’ competition (an important element of the festival where garlic growers put their coveted garlic bulbs and reputations on the line) along with award winning chef Ben Bate from Dunalley Waterfront Café.
The 2015 Koonya Garlic festival promises something for everyone with garlic plaiting (braiding) demonstrations, a garlic piñata, garlic and spoon races and other activities for the kids, and for those who are totally ‘cloved out’, the opportunity to browse a range of gourmet food, wine and beverage stalls or simply kick back, relax and enjoy the all day music entertainment. Festival Director Colin Langridge says that the aim of the festival is to create an intimate, inclusive, informative, cultural and fun event, “The festival is a place to enjoy delicious garlic inspired cuisine, to buy garlic, share ideas and trade garlic breath and garlic tales. We have tried to build on the success of the pilot festival held last year and will be offering an even more exciting, diverse, informative and fun packed schedule in 2015”.
Tasmania prides itself on its gourmet food culture and gourmet produce and is gaining an unprecedented reputation for capturing niche markets and developing exciting new Agri-tourism initiatives and events. The Koonya Garlic Festival is another exciting example of this and with a renewed enthusiasm for fresh quality produce and from ‘paddock to plate’ ventures and experiences, we anticipate that the Koonya Garlic Festival may soon become a significant date on all ‘growers’ and ‘foodies’ calendars!
The festival is presented by Out on a Limb, Tasman Regional Arts and is a not for profit organization. The festival and prizes are being sponsored by Events Tasmania, Tasman Council, Natural Resource Management, Bendigo Bank, Tassal, Tasman Gazette and Sorell Times, McHenry Distillery, Pennicott’s Wilderness Tours, Tasman Pharmacy, Blundstone Tasmania, Gabrielle’s On the Bay @ Taylors , Port Arthur Lavender and Parsons Bay Eco Village.
For more information about the Koonya Garlic Festival and Garlic Competition and drop off points leading up to the festival please visit www.koonyagarlicfestival.com and www.facebook/koonyagarlicfestival.